When women are empowered and can claim their rights and access to resources and choices, economies grow, food security is enhanced and prospects are improved for current and future generations.
Realizing the potential of women in the society, The Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (LSPCA) with support from Donkey Sanctuary UK last Wednesday (24/10/2018) trained 20 women from Chigonthi in Lilongwe on donkey handling, ownership, and welfare. These women all came from households that owns donkeys.
The training which targets women, focused on how women can be responsible for donkeys at their household, how they can communicate and handle donkeys, and how they can assess welfare of their donkeys. These trainees were introduced for the first time to the donkey Hand Tool for assessing welfare of donkeys, and the five-animal freedom concept. The trainees now understood that, a healthier donkey lives longer and benefits the owner.
Traditionally, ownership and handling of large animals like Donkeys has always been biased towards men, and regarded as man’s job. This affects welfare of donkeys as many women shun looking after donkeys, they regard caring for donkeys as man’s job, perhaps that’s what they were told.
It has also been discovered that, most returns realized from donkeys goes straight to men pockets. Men are the ones who hitch donkeys to carts and hires them away. By teaching women about donkey ownership, handling and communication, we are also empowering them economically. These skills will enable women to perform other task earlier done by men alone like hitching donkeys to carts, ploughing, and making saddles.
LSPCA’s Donkey Sanctuary Project Coordinator Esimy Chioza, expressed optimism after the training saying women will now benefit huge from donkeys at the same time improving donkey welfare. She challenged all the participants of the training to take donkey ownership and welfare seriously for them to leap huge benefits brought forward by these animals.